This is a tuff one. You are being asked to "control" companies over
which you have no control. By all rights, they should want to be
accommodating. With the proliferation of directory companies both in
print and online, this becomes an almost impossible task. You are a
victim of the desire to be customer friendly by listing more than just
the main campus number in some directory.
Based on my observations with the two or three printed directories that
I get delivered at home, I think you are in a no win situation. I have
neighbors, one of whom is a faculty member and the other is a doctor who
uses her maiden name professionally. Depending on the year and the
directory, I can find them listed under the husband's name, the wife's
name, neither, or both. I haven't even thought about looking at the
online versions or 411.com.
This proliferation of directories is a result of the deregulation of the
telephone companies. Before deregulation, we had one, authoritative
directory for each service area, the current local exchange carrier.
Now, we have a number of carrier choices and each carrier can publish
its own directory. Then, we have the independent director companies
that get into the picture. They either scan some other directory or get
it in machine-readable form and combine several different companies'
directories into one. Once the information is out in the wild, you have
lost control over it. I give this same warning to those who post on
social networking sites.
Since we no longer have that single authoritative source of 411 data,
you have no idea of how many different carriers you would need to
contact. Even if you could contact all of them, you then have all of
the independent directory companies and online service providers to
contact. I hate to say it but this may be a place for
Charles R. Williams
Director of Information Technology
5700 College Road
Lisle, IL 60532
From: Theresa M Rowe [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Wednesday, September 19, 2007 7:34 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [CIO] 411 Directory Assistance
We are having difficult when people call 411 Directory Assistance off
campus, then requesting on-campus numbers. The calls are going all over
We've put together a list of web sites for 411 and we are trying to get
them to correct the listings with little success. Carriers also have
411 lists and we're stumbling getting corrections there, too.
Is there some single place we can go to to say "when people ask for
Oakland University, give them this number?". Our Office of the General
Counsel insists there must be and we've been mandated to track this
down. Do you send out packets of information to get the routing numbers
For example, people call directory assistance to get a number for a
concert, but Directory Assistance gives them the golf course number.
How do we get this
This came up because a Board of Trustees member, acting off campus,
wanted to test out his perception of emergency contacts. He called 411
and asked for an emergency
phone number for the university. Directory assistance for his carrier
consistently gave him our undergrad admissions office. He insists this
is our problem and demands that we fix it, and the General Counsel
Appreciate any help; thanks in advance.
Assistant Vice President
University Technology Services
www.oakland.edu/uts - the latest news from University Technology
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